You may be surprised to hear that marijuana could actually help with weight loss. The typical “pot culture” has led many to believe that marijuana is only good for increasing appetite, thus resulting in weight gain. The age-old tale is that people who smoke pot always have the “munchies” and are left craving potato chips, pizza rolls, cookies, and other high-calorie and unhealthy snacks.
However, while the munchies is certainly a real phenomenon, research suggests that marijuana could also help with losing weight. It’s all about the type of strain that you use. There are even certain cannabis strains that will make you want to get up and be active.
Just like many misconceptions about marijuana, the idea that weed makes you fatter is another one that is not so cut and dry. Despite the stereotype that stoners are constantly eating and lazy, their bodies tell a totally different story. Several studies done recently have shown that daily marijuana use is associated with smaller waist circumference, lower BMI, and lower fasting insulin levels. There are even some marijuana growers who are marketing strains specifically for weight loss. Does this mean that marijuana could be the secret to losing your love handles? Or is it all a hoax?
Marijuana and Weight Management
Research has shown that marijuana may be an effective tool for weight management at both ends of the scale. As much as it could help with those who are trying to combat the effects of a suppressed appetite, those who are looking for help with weight loss may also benefit from marijuana.
So how could it help with weight loss? Here are three of the main factors at play:
Marijuana contains hundreds of different cannabinoids, the two superstars being THC and CBD. If you’ve done any research into marijuana, you will know that you can get different strains. Different strains contain different cannabinoids and are responsible for different effects. Some promote sleep, but others will provoke wakefulness. Furthermore, there are some strains that promote appetite, while others may suppress it.
The “munchies” phenomenon is most commonly associated with THC, which is usually found in high doses in indica strains. But, it’s important to understand that THC is just one of the many different cannabinoids.
As it turns out, different cannabinoids tend to have different effects on the appetite. While THC tends to increase appetite and promote hunger, CBD appears to suppress it. This means that using a marijuana strain with a high CBD content could decrease your appetite, and thereby promote weight loss.
Controlling Blood Sugar
Just like THC and CBD have different effects, so do other cannabinoids. Although THC and CBD are the most common, the effects of the lesser-known cannabinoids could be just as important for weight loss.
There are a few studies that suggest that THCV could play a part in regulating blood sugar. Your blood sugar levels affect the experience of hunger. While low blood sugar promotes hunger, high blood sugar suppresses the appetite. Low blood sugar is also what leads people to make poorer nutritional choices, like picking a donut over a piece of fruit.
High blood sugar can promote weight gain and lead to insulin insensitivity. Insulin also has an impact on weight management and the experience of hunger. Having better control over blood sugar levels can help to manage hunger and allows people to make better nutritional choices.
You know in movies and on TV when you see people experiencing the munchies, they always seem to be relaxed and prone to sleeping? Well, indica strains that are heavy with THC fit this description.
On the contrary, sativa strains tend to turn these stereotypes on their head. Sativa strains are what claim to suppress appetite, and they may also promote focus and mental awareness. Sativa strains can help people to find mental clarity and get up and do things. Although they are often associated with calmness, sativa strains can help people to become intently focused on the task at hand.
Very often, the task at hand is exercise. Thus, sativa strains may promote physical activity. Interestingly, they could also increase the pleasure that patients feel by doing the activity that they choose to focus on. While you won’t become a sports star overnight, exercising may become a lot more pleasurable.
How Marijuana Can Help with Workouts, Post-Recovery and a Good Night’s Rest
There’s no easy, one-step way to lose weight. However, marijuana could be a welcome cheerleader. If getting out of bed and getting motivated to hit the gym is a struggle, strains like Durban Poison, Ghost Train Haze, Green Crack, and Harlequin all have a solid track record for boosting energy and fighting fatigue.
Furthermore, cannabis could help users to maintain a healthy body weight by reducing muscle pain and inflammation. It can even help users to recover faster from exercise, which means that you won’t be “out of the game” for too long. Strains that are good for soothing out sore muscles include Blue Dream, Sweet Kush, and Sour Diesel.
Lastly, a good night’s rest is an important part of maintaining a healthy weight. Lack of sleep has been directly linked to obesity. Poor sleep can increase hunger cravings, appetite, and related calorie intake. In general, a lack of sleep leads people to seek out food that is high-energy and high-calorie.
Although research on cannabis use and sleep is still in its early stages, a study done in 2017 found that CBD might hold promise for REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, and sleep behavior disorder. Recommended strains to use for sleep include Purple Kush, Grandaddy Purple, and MK Ultra.
Marijuana Before You Workout
The right strain of marijuana can help with focus, energy levels, and your metabolism. It could also help you to achieve your fitness goals since you may find that you will last longer during your workouts and obtain more focus and commitment.
The other benefit of using marijuana as part of your exercise regime is that it could help to relieve pain. So if acute pain is something that is getting in the way of you working out, then marijuana could help to relieve that.
It’s important to remember that marijuana affects everybody differently. While using cannabis can help with weight loss, it isn’t the only factor to take into account. A balanced diet, sleep, daily physical activity, and less stress are all important parts of the weight loss journey.
Final Thoughts on Marijuana and Weight Loss
Ultimately, we’ve determined that marijuana can certainly play a role in helping with weight loss. It all comes down to the type of strain that you use. Choosing the right strain of marijuana is very important, since not all strains will suppress the appetite. Certain strains are also known to help users to be more alert and active, which could also help with weight management.
Sativa strains of marijuana are known for bringing more focus and energy, while indica strains are known to induce relaxation. Technically speaking, sativa strains would be more useful for weight loss. However, it’s important to remember that there are also a few other factors in play.